Becoming a Red
O’Brien commits to UNB Varsity Reds
Charlottetown soccer player Alex O’Brien has committed to UNB.
Alex O’Brien is following in his father’s footsteps.
The Colonel Gray Colonels graduate has committed to the UNB Varsity Red soccer team for the fall. His father, John, played at UNB and was a member of the 1980 team that won the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) championship.
“That was the reason I was familiar with UNB, but he totally left it up to me,” O’Brien said Monday.
The 17-year-old Charlottetown resident said the team’s recent success was part of the reason for his choice.
“And they (put) a lot of focus on academics as well as athletics, so that was a big part for my family and me,” said O’Brien, who will be studying computer science.
Playing university soccer is something he said he thought about as a kid. Not only did his father play, but his sister Katie played four seasons at UPEI, as well.
O’Brien joins a Reds team coming off back-to-back Atlantic University Sport (AUS) titles.
They went 11-0-2 in last year’s regular season and defeated Cape Breton 2-1 in the conference championship game.
O’Brien said he is hoping to get as much playing time as possible in his rookie year.
“Considering they’re like the No. 1 team in Atlantic Canada that’s pretty exciting for me,” he said.
O’Brien has three goals in eight games this summer in his first season with Soccer Stop P.E.I. F.C., which plays in the McCain New Brunswick Premier Soccer League.
“There are a lot of AUS players that play in that league,” he said. “Playing against them is a great experience and it prepares me very well for next year.”
O’Brien has played with the Charlottetown Royals F.C., P.E.I. and Atlantic teams.
He brings experience as a striker, attacking centre midfielder and winger.
“Alex has all the tools to be a very good AUS and CIS player,” said UNB head coach Miles Pinsent. “He is fast, hard, skilled and creative.”
O’Brien’s career highlights include travelling to Scotland in 2014 for training and games, including a match against the St. Mirren pro youth academy team, and representing P.E.I. at club nationals in 2011, 2013 and 2014.
He was one of three finalists for the P.E.I. Soccer Association’s junior player of the year award from 2011 to 2014.
“Alex has all the tools to be a very good AUS and CIS player. He is fast, hard, skilled and creative.”
UNB head coach Miles Pinsent
Alex O’Brien, right, has committed to the UNB Varsity Reds. “I’m most looking forward to playing with competitive, high-performance athletes and learning from the experience of both teammates and coaching staff,” he said.